Europe's fight against pandemic set to get tougher

New DelhiWritten By: Gravitas deskUpdated: Apr 03, 2021, 08:30 AM IST
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Vials labelled "AstraZeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken March 10, 2021 (File Photo) Photograph:(Reuters)

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With the latest round of suspensions against the Astrazeneca shot. Europe's fight against the pandemic is about to get tougher.

The world is struggling with another shortage - that of vaccines. Many countries still don't have the shots they need. Some of those who have it don't want to use them.

To add to the woes, the curbs on the AstraZeneca vaccine are back. France, Sweden, Finland, Canada and Germany want the youth to avoid the shot.

And the UK has found 30 blood clotting cases linked to this vaccine.

There is uncertainty and confusion in Germany once again. A day after the Astrazeneca shot was suspended. The people who are waiting for a jab don't know what to expect next.

Earlier this week, Germany suspended the use of this vaccine for those below 60 over fears of a rare blood clot. It wasn't the only one to do so.

France, Sweden, Finland and Canada too want younger people to avoid the shot.

In Norway and Denmark the Astrazeneca shot still remains suspended for everyone. While, the UK has now found 30 cases of blood clot events.

But it still continues to use the vaccine. The head of the European medicines agency still backs the Astrazenca shot.

The constant back and forth over the vaccines is only hurting Europe. Despite booking millions of vials in advance. Less than 10 percent of the people in Germany, France and Italy have managed to get their first dose. In comparison, by end of March. The UK had vaccinated more than 40 percent of its citizens with at least one dose.

Britain at least on the vaccine front seems to be benefiting after breaking away from the union. Slow approvals have only compounded Europe's problems.

According to a report, the European Commission struck its first vaccine contract 105 days after Britain. It approved its first shot 19 days later.

The European Union has booked close to two billion doses. That's enough to cover its population more than twice. But the bloc has been slow to administer the doses.

After its program began in December last year.

It took 63 days for the EU to vaccinate five per cent of its population with a single dose. The UK covered the same distance in less than 40 days.

The impact of the delays is there for the world to see. A deadly third wave is now sweeping the continent. Forcing several countries to reimpose lockdowns and restrictions. The UK on the other hand has now eased some of its restrictions.

Now with the latest round of suspensions against the Astrazeneca shot. Europe's fight against the pandemic is about to get tougher.